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Kimball Avenue Historic District in Westfield

by: Sue Adler
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Westfield, New Jersey, is known throughout the region as “Colonial Westfield”, due to its large concentration of historically significant architecture.  Throughout town there are many examples of colonial architecture that reflect the cultural diversity of Westfield’s early residents.  Design elements such as English shingles, Dutch roofs, German stones, and Swedish planks can be found on just about every street, with many dating back to the 17th century.

Kimball Avenue Historic District

While many neighborhoods in Westfield boast historically significant examples of architecture, no neighborhood embodies it as much as the Kimball Avenue Historic District.  This neighborhood is the only officially designated historic district in Westfield and offers a wonderfully historic overview of the architecture of the town throughout the centuries.  The district is comprised of the block between Lawrence Avenue and Elm Street.

The Kimball Avenue Historic District boasts many examples of Colonial Revivals.  Many of these structures feature classic steep gambrel roofs with flare cleaves overhanging the first floor, common in early Dutch Colonials.  The facades are often constructed with stucco and the roofs may feature a Bell curve, both characteristic of early Dutch design.

Another popular style found in the Kimball Avenue Historic District is Georgian.  This style originated in England in the 1600s and made its way to the colonies in the early 1700s.  The Faulkner House at 248 Kimball Avenue is a great example of a Georgian Revival.  The Kimball Avenue Historic District also features a number of Queen Anne style homes with turrets, latticework, multiple-gabled roofs and unique dormers.  The homes at 230, 237, 242, 243, 249, 257, 265, and 266 are all examples of Queen Anne style homes built between 1881 and the turn of the century.

Other Historic Neighborhoods in Westfield

While the Kimball Avenue Historic District is the only officially designated historic district in Westfield, several other neighborhoods offer historic charm, including:

  • The Boulevard – This residents of The Boulevard have designated themselves a “historic district” and have erected antique-looking signs at the ends of the neighborhood.  There are several wonderful examples of historic homes in the neighborhood, including Victorians, Dutch Colonials, Italianates, Federal Revivals and Tudors that date from the 1840s to the present.
  • Brightwood – This neighborhood contains one of the most rustic parks in town as well as many of Westfield’s older homes which date from the 1860s to the Great Depression.
  • The Gardens – Homes in this neighborhood date from the 1870s to World War II.
  • Indian Forest – This neighborhood features large properties that were built between the 1930s and the 1970s.
  • Kimball Circle – These homes date from the early 20th century and are opulently large and reminiscent of homes found in Europe and England.
  • Lawrence Avenue – This district is home to many Victorians as well as the Colonial Revival at 322 Lawrence and the historic Marsh Arnold House at 528 Lawrence.
  • Stanley Oval – This neighborhood was originally a Revolutionary War arsenal and now features homes built between 1900 and 1930 in a variety of styles including Colonial Revival, Georgian, Dutch Colonial and Tudor.
  • Stoneleigh Park – This district contains large mansions built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Wychwood – This community contains the Sips-Manor House, built in 1664.  Other architectural styles include English Manors, Tudors, Cottages, Tuscans and Colonials.
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